The Indian cobra is a very poisonous snake found in the sub-continent. It lives not only in India, but also in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and parts of Afghanistan.

Cobras are easy to recognize because when they are angry or scared, they raise themselves up and blow out their ribs to form a ‘hood’. There is a ‘V’ pattern on the Indian cobra’s hood, something like a pair of spectacles, because of which it is also known as the ‘spectacled cobra’. […]


Patterns drawn on the ground outside front doors are a common sight in India. They are called kolam in south India and rangoli in north India, though they are known by some other names too. These patterns may be simple or complicated, drawn in white or with colours.

The tradition of drawing kolams dates back about 5000 years. There are several reasons why these patterns are drawn. Broadly speaking, they have a religious purpose, and a decorative one. […]


Puppets are popular all over the world. They are not just children’s toys. Older people enjoy them too. In many parts of India, different types of puppets are used to tell stories. Andhra Pradesh is famous for a special type of puppets. They are made of leather. Shows using these puppets are known as Tholu bommalata. […]


‘Practice makes one perfect’ is probably one line that we hear often, at many points in our lives. Be it as a baby attempting to roll for the first time or as a toddler who is trying to take those precious first steps or as a child trying to get balance on a two-wheeler after repeated failed attempts. ‘Practice makes one perfect’ is one line that is repeatedly used by every parent for their children and by every teacher for their students. […]


What is the first thing you reach out for in the Geometry period? My guess is, the ruler! This instrument makes calculations easier and solving sums speedier. Have you ever wondered since when this wonderful tool been around? You will be surprised to know that the answer to that question is since 2400 BCE! And where was it discovered? In our very own Indus Valley! […]


The Navratri festival is held to venerate three Hindu goddesses: Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati. ‘Nava’ means ‘nine’ and ‘ratri’ means ‘night’ – and, as per the name, the festival is spread over ‘nine nights’ (or days). Navaratri is primarily celebrated by women, as they are the ones who organise the festivities and take part in them. Different state celebrate them differently: with Kolu, a display of dolls, In Tamil Nadu, with Durga Puja in West Bengal; garba raas and dandiya raas in Gujarat; and Ram Lila in Uttar Padesh. […]


Black pepper, now commonly used as a seasoning around the world, originated in India – it was grown primarily in the Malabar coast or present-day Kerala. It was used in Indian cooking as early as 2000 BC, and spread from India to Southeast Asia. The spice, which imparted a great deal of flavor even when used minimally, was seen as a valuable spice by the ancient European traders, and was referred to as ‘black gold’. Following this, in the Dutch language, ‘pepper expensive’ (peperduur) is an expression for something very expensive. It was in search of trade in this spice that Vasco de Gama even led an expedition to India. […]


One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out a way to get him out. Finally he decided it was probably impossible and the animal was old and the well was dry anyway, so it just wasn’t worth it to try and retrieve the donkey. So the farmer asked his neighbours to come over and help him cover up the well. They all grabbed shovels and began to shovel dirt into the well. […]


A son took his father to a restaurant for dinner. Father being very old and weak, while eating, dropped food on his shirt and trousers. Other diners watched him in disgust while his son was calm. […]


According to the ancient Indian epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, the region south of the Vindhya mountains was once thickly forested, and ruled by the Vannars. Van means forest, and nar man in Sanskrit. So Vannar could mean forest men or monkey men. In the Ramayana, the Vannars, and their kingdom, Kishkinda, play a very important role. […]


When you think of camels, you always think of deserts too, don’t you? After all, the camel is known as the ‘ship of the desert’. But not all camels live only in deserts. There is a special breed of camel which can swim in the sea! It is found only in one place in the world – Gujarat. […]


The Dal Lake is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Srinagar, the summer capital of the northern-most State of India – Jammu and Kashmir.

It has a shoreline of around 15 km. It’s not just one water body, but several inter-linked ones. It has islands as well as ‘floating gardens’. These gardens are known as Rad in the local language. They are not attached to the lake bottom but float on the water. They are very fertile, and vegetables and fruits are cultivated on them. […]


Bidar is a little town in the southern Indian State of Karnataka. It is famous for a special type of metal craft known as Bidri – taking its name from the town itself.

Bidri art is a technique of making designs in silver in a base of a mixture of metals like zinc and copper, which combine to become black in colour. The silver patterns gleam and glow against the black background. The technique is used to make vases, wall plates, jewellery boxes, and other handicraft items. […]


Bindis are dots placed on the forehead, just above the space between the eyebrows. The majority of Indian women wear bindis. The word bindi comes from bindu, which means dot in Sanskrit. They are also called pottu or bottu in south India. Traditionally, bindis are red in colour. […]


When asked to name a favourite board game, the one that instantly springs to mind is Chess. This popular board game has been ruling the roost for nearly 1500 years and do you know where it originated from? Our very own India!

Chess started out as Chaturanga and was developed in the Gupta dynasty as early as the 6th century AD. It was designed as a strategy game and went on to initiate the board games of chess, sittuyin, xiangqi, makruk and janggi. […]


One rainy season, the south-west monsoon brought such heavy and incessant rains that the cities were flooded in the course of a week. All the people vacated their homes and moved to safer places.

A man, on the way to a shelter with his family, noticed that the priest of the Church had not left. He went to him and said, ‘Father, the city will soon be flooded. We are moving to a safer place. Please come with us.’ […]

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